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kids_book_review_where_are_you_bearWhere Are You Bear? A Canadian Alphabet Book
Owl Kids/Raincoast Books
Age 3-5
32 pages
written by Frieda Wishinsky and illustrated by Sean L. Moorer

Synopsis from Raincoast Books:

A fresh take on a classic concept: an ABC and story book combined in one! Canada is a big country to travel across without your favorite bear by your side, but that’s just what 4-year-old Sophie has to do! Unable to find Bear as Sophie and her dad prepare to leave Newfoundland to visit her grandmother in British Columbia, Sophie must brave traveling across the giant country without her trusted companion. After Bear emerges from under Sophie’s bed, he realizes what’s happened and sets off on his own adventure: chasing after Sophie. The cat and mouse, or rather girl and bear, game that ensues is a madcap ABC adventure across Canada that takes the two separated pals through all 13 provinces and territories. Along the way, Sophie and Bear encounter all sorts of animals, people, sights, sounds, and tastes of Canada. From a bowl of chowder in Nova Scotia to a polar bear in Nunavut, the whole country is in on the trip. Illustrator Sean L. Moore uses a sophisticated and fresh color palette, iconic images, and detailed backgrounds to bring this warm and contemporary Canadian story to life.

Unlike traditional alphabet books, Where Are You Bear? combines an adventure story, Canadian geography and the alphabet into one book.

Sophie and her pal Bear set off from St. John’s, Newfoundland to visit Sophie’s grandmother across the country in Vancouver, British Columbia. The two friends get separated at the beginning of the story and travel across the country trying to find each other en-route to Grandma’s.

The story: The adventure is told through simple pictures and single sentences about what Sophie and Bear experience on their journey. The geography: As the friends enter a new province or territory, a small plane is pictured pulling a banner with the province or territory name written out. The images also depict elements the area is known for like red earth for Prince Edward Island or gold panning in the Yukon. For added geographic fun, the inside cover outlines what specific elements are being illustrated on each page as they pertain to that province. The alphabet: Each page shows the upper and lower case letter in the top corner with a word that starts by the same latter and depicts what the picture illustrates.

Where Are You Bear? is a nice concept book with a little Canadian pride.

You can add a copy of Where Are You Bear? to your personal library by visiting your local bookstore or from Raincoast Books. Visit our Kid’s Books section for other great book recommendations. What are you reading with your kids?

I have to thank Crystal at Raincoast Books for my review copy.

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